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HTLAL Book Club 2015

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Ogrim
Heptaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2534 days ago

991 posts - 1893 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 25 of 69
16 December 2014 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
Like Josquin I am also a big fan of the classics in Russian literature, but my Russian is still not at a level where I feel comfortable attacking the works in original. However, one of my goals for 2015 is definitely to read at least one, if not two novels in Russian, but I think I rather start with something contemporary (although Josquin has made me add Дама с собачкой to my list.

As a compulsive e-book buyer, I have books enough for years on my Kindle. I just went through my collection of Russian language books to see what I have stored so far. Here is the list.

Classics:
Федор Михайлович Достоевский : Преступление и наказание (Crime and Punishment)
                           Белые ночи (White Nights)
                           Братья Карамазовы (The Brothers Karamazov)
                           Игрок (The Gambler)
Александр Пушкин - Пиковая дама (Pushkin: Dame of spades)
Михаил Лермонтов – Герой нашего времени (Lermontov: A Hero of Our Time)
Антон Чехов – Черный монах (Tchekov: The Blank Monk)
Александр Грин – Алые паруса (Green: Scarlet sails)

One day I will get through all of them, but not in 2015 I am afraid.

Fairytale collections:
Русские народные сказки (Russian Folk Tales)
Романтические сказки на ноч (Romantic Fairytales by night)

I enjoy reading fairytales even at my age, and they are normally short and to the point, so nice to read when you are not yet at a proficient level in the language.

Other books (modern novels, non-fiction):
Елена Владимировна Маркина - Анекдоты: самые новые и смешные
A collection of jokes and anecdotes, I have been reading this one off and on this year. Great for vocabulary learning, and a great way to get an insight into Russian sense of humour (which I enjoy more and more)

Сергей Минаев - Москва, я не люблю тебя (Moscow, I don't love you)
I started on this earlier this year, but found it too difficult. I might give it another try.

Владимир Ярославович Лучанинов - Азы православного христианства (A to Z for Orthodox Christians)
This is a religious book, which I mainly bought to expand my vocabulary in a different realm from the usual textbook and newspaper language. I'll continue to read snippets of it in 2015.

Лидия Карловна Давыдова - Фридерик Шопен. Его жизнь и музыкальная деятельность
A biography about the composer Frédéric Chopin. I love his music.

Александр Солженицын - Рассказы и крохотки
Stories by the great Solshenitsyn. I've read some of his work in translation, but now I want to see what I can get out of his writing in original.

Дарья Мийе - Как жить с французом (How to live with the French).
I couldn't resist the title of this one, living in France myself. Definitely one of the first books I will start to read next year.

Георгий Турьянский - Москва – Франкфурт - Москва (Moscow-Frankfurt-Moscow)
Seems to be some kind of autobiographical novel. Not yet started reading.

As obviously I will have to make a choice, I'd welcome any comment from anyone who has read any of these books. I'll probably start with one non-fiction book and one novel (and from time to time read the anecdotes and the fairytales).


3 persons have voted this message useful



Via Diva
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
last.fm/user/viadivaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2129 days ago

1109 posts - 1427 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German, Italian, French, Swedish, Esperanto, Czech, Greek

 
 Message 26 of 69
16 December 2014 at 5:45pm | IP Logged 
I wish all the luck to non-native readers of Dostoevsky, because The Idiot with my speed of reading turned out to be not entirely clear to me. I just don't get some details, reasons and
consequences. Hopefully it's just my speed of reading.
____________
Ich liebe die Werke von Stefan Zweig. Ich will Deutsch lernen, um zu viele Dinge machen, zum Beispiel, um zu Bücher von Zweig auf Deutsch lesen.
Schachnovelle ist ein berühmtes Werk von ihm. Ein bekannter Großmeister spielt Schach auf einem Schiff, und ein Mann spielt besser als andere. Der Erzähler fragt den Mann, wie kann er so gut
machen mit einem Weltmeister? Der Mann denn erzählt, was mit ihm früher in Nazi-Österreich passiert ist.
Angst ist eine andere Novelle von Zweig. Obwohl die Novelle ist gefilmt, der Film ist ziemlich schlecht, er zeigt eine ganz andere Geschichte, als Zweig geschrieben hat. Eine Frau nennt Irene hat
eine Beziehung mit einem Mann, obwohl sie verheiratet ist. Eines Tages eine ärmere Frau trefft Irene und erpresst sie. Irene will nicht ihre Familie zu verlieren, also sie muss bezahlen. Sie hat viel
Angst von alles: von die ärmere Frau, von ihrem Geliebter und eben von ihrem Mann.

corrections

I love the works of Stefan Zweig. I want to learn German in order to do many things, for example, to read Zweig's books.
Schachnovelle is one of his famous works. A famous grossmeister plays chess on a ship, and a man plays better than everyone else. The storyteller asks the man about how can he play so gut with
a world champion? The man the explains, what has happened to him in Nazi-Austria.
Angst is another novel by Zweig. It was adaped, but the movie is really awful, it shows an entirely different story comparing to what Zweig has written. A woman named Irene has a relationship
with a man, although she is married. One day a poor woman meets Irene and blackmails here. Irene doesn't want to lose her family, so she has to pay. She fears everything: the poor woman, her own
lover and even her own husband.

(ah, that sounds so childish, but so is my German)
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3286 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 27 of 69
16 December 2014 at 7:12pm | IP Logged 
Via Diva wrote:
I wish all the luck to non-native readers of Dostoevsky, because
The Idiot with my speed of reading turned out to be not entirely clear to me. I
just don't get some details, reasons and
consequences. Hopefully it's just my speed of reading.
____________
Ich liebe die Werke von Stefan Zweig. Ich will Deutsch lernen, um zu viele Dinge
machen, zum Beispiel, um zu Bücher von Zweig auf Deutsch lesen.
Schachnovelle ist ein berühmtes Werk von ihm. Ein bekannter Großmeister spielt
Schach auf einem Schiff, und ein Mann spielt besser als andere. Der Erzähler fragt den
Mann, wie kann er so gut
machen mit einem Weltmeister? Der Mann denn erzählt, was mit ihm früher in Nazi-
Österreich passiert ist.
Angst ist eine andere Novelle von Zweig. Obwohl die Novelle ist gefilmt, der
Film ist ziemlich schlecht, er zeigt eine ganz andere Geschichte, als Zweig geschrieben
hat. Eine Frau nennt Irene hat
eine Beziehung mit einem Mann, obwohl sie verheiratet ist. Eines Tages eine ärmere Frau
trefft Irene und erpresst sie. Irene will nicht ihre Familie zu verlieren, also sie
muss bezahlen. Sie hat viel
Angst von alles: von die ärmere Frau, von ihrem Geliebter und eben von ihrem Mann.

8.com/594831/journals/26288653333559701664153110835736917105 0">corrections

I love the works of Stefan Zweig. I want to learn German in order to do many things,
for example, to read Zweig's books.
Schachnovelle is one of his famous works. A famous grossmeister plays chess on a
ship, and a man plays better than everyone else. The storyteller asks the man about how
can he play so gut with
a world champion? The man the explains, what has happened to him in Nazi-Austria.
Angst is another novel by Zweig. It was adaped, but the movie is really awful,
it shows an entirely different story comparing to what Zweig has written. A woman named
Irene has a relationship
with a man, although she is married. One day a poor woman meets Irene and blackmails
here. Irene doesn't want to lose her family, so she has to pay. She fears everything:
the poor woman, her own
lover and even her own husband.

(ah, that sounds so childish, but so is my German)


I *love* Stefan Zweig. He's pretty popular in French translation so that's how I
discovered him. Apparently he used to be quite popular in the anglophone world as well
but then sort of faded away which is a shame. Chess Story is all the more powerful
knowing that he committed suicide shortly after writing it.

(grossmeister would = chessmaster)
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4492 days ago

9757 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 28 of 69
16 December 2014 at 8:07pm | IP Logged 
Ogrim wrote:
A friend of mine who did his thesis on La Divina Commedia used to say that this is the book everyone in Italy knows but nobody has read from the beginning to the end;) Still it is great to be able to read 14th century Italian literature and make sense of it, even if you need to consult the parallel text.

And has he read it from cover to cover himself? :D
I started it some time ago and tbh I expected it to be more difficult. Finally getting something out of my Latin, maybe :)

I also got Il Gattopardo recently, but I haven't got around to it.


Also, I finished my first book in Czech today (Ilya Frank style). Not impressed with the content. I wonder how many HTLAL'ers read books that make them uncomfortable due to topics like gender, race, religion... Especially if there's not much available in the language.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3061 days ago

3325 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 29 of 69
16 December 2014 at 8:48pm | IP Logged 
Merci de vos corrections

FRANÇAIS

J'ai lu plusieurs livres en français pendant cette année, parmi lesquels beaucoup de romains contemporains qui m'aident toujours à apprendre un peu sur la vie quotidienne en France. Je n'aime pas lire des livres dont l'histoire se déroule avant les années 1970, au moins ce n'est pas ma priorité. Je veux utiliser la littérature pour comprendre comment vivent les gens dans le monde d'aujourd'hui. Il va de soi qu'elle peut nous renseigner aussi de chères leçons sur l'esprit humain de tout le temps - c'est pour ça que je veux bien lire les romanciers russes, moi aussi, mais au moins pour l'instant ma priorité c'est de m'imaginer comme quelqu'un qui traverse les rues des pays dont mes langues d'apprentissage sont parlées.

J'ai toujours un sujet de discussion ici à ici à HTLAL où je note ce que je lis et regarde en français. On peut constater que je lis plusieurs auteurs, d'une façon qui semble même être pas hasard, mais ce n'est pas le cas. Je veux revenir sur les auteurs qui me semblent les plus intéressants, mais pour l'instant j'ai même décidé de passer à la littérature non-romanesque parce qu'il y a des sujets pressants dont j'ai besoin de lire et il me faut optimiser le temps que je dépense avec mes langues pour apprendre d'autres choses utiles dans la connaissance humaine.

Toutefois, je veux bien ajouter que je n'aime pas beaucoup les descriptions pessimistes de la vie, même si les romanciers eux-mêmes me semblent très bons. C'est le cas de Houellebecg, par exemple, dont j'ai lu "Extension du domaine de la lutte". Le livre est très bon, mais j'aimerais mieux lire des romans qui couvrent une vision un peu plus optimiste de la vie. La réalité est déjà suffisamment sombre pour quelqu'un qui vit au Brésil, alors je préfère lire des histoires qui jettent un peu de lumière sur les solutions possibles pour l'amélioration du monde. Donc si vous avez des auteurs qui écrivent d'une façon un peu plus optimiste (par exemple, le japonais Murakami, susmentionné), veuillez bien les partager avec nous =D

ENGLISH

I've read a lot of books in French throughout this year, including many contemporary novels which always help me learn a little about daily life in France. I don't like reading books with a story that takes place before the 70's, at least that's not my priority. I want to employ literature as a means of understanding how people live in today's world. Of course it can also teach us endeared lessons on the human spirit of all times - that's why I want to learn the russian writers as well, but for now my priority is to imagine myself as someone who crosses the streets of the countries where my studied languages are spoken.

I keep a thread here at HTLAL where I note down what I read and watch in French. You may notice I read several authors, in a way that seems random, but that's not the case. I want to get back to the authors that seem most interesting, but for now I've even decided to swtich to non-fiction because there are urging subjects I need to read about and I have to optimize my time spent on languages so that I can learn other things that are useful at the human knowledge.

Nevertheless, I'd like to add that I don't like the pessimistic descriptions of life that much, even if the writers themselves seem very good. That's the case of Houellebecq, from which I read "Extension du domaine de la lutte". The book is pretty good, but I'd rather read novels that cover a slightly more optimistic view of live. Reality is already dark enough for someone who lives in Brazil, so I prefer to read stories that throw a little more light on the possible solutions for making a better world. So, if you have authors who write in a little more optimistic way, please share them with us =D


3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 2904 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 30 of 69
17 December 2014 at 6:34pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:

Also, I finished my first book in Czech today (Ilya Frank style).
Not impressed with the content.
I wonder how many HTLAL'ers read books that make them uncomfortable due to
topics like gender, race, religion... Especially if there's not much available in the
language.


If I understood correctly, those were fairytales by Němcová? I wouldn't recommend her
as the first Czech author for anyone to read. At her times, the books were among the
best things in Czech literature but that was rather due to low amount of writers at
those times.

However, I don't understand the note about there not being much available in the
language. That doesn't apply to Czech at all and it sounds a little offensive. There
is a lot available in most genres, the only thing lacking are the huge classical
romans the Russians, the French and the English can be rightfully proud of.

If I can give a few recommendations, don't start with the "classics" like Němcová.
While some of her books are good and have some historical and other value, we've got
better writers.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Čapek, for example his R.U.R, The Macropulos Affair or
Stories from a Pocket. If you would want to try just one Czech author, I think he
would be your best bet.

There are many other authors, crime novels are a very popular genre, there are a few
very good sci-fi authors (such as Žamboch or Kulhánek), not much fantasy, a lot of
non-fiction (for exemple Souček wrote about mysteries and there is large amount of
popular science books), and some good historical novels (Vondruška is now writing a
very popular series), lots of shorter novels or short stories (many authors, a few
like Dan Brown (Urban is really good and in some ways better than Brown, in my
opinion), some really good humorists (Kraus, Jirotka),some romance authors etc., there
is as well some tradition in comics. What would you like to read?

Edited by Cavesa on 17 December 2014 at 6:36pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 2784 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 31 of 69
17 December 2014 at 8:17pm | IP Logged 
It's cool to see so many people reading Russian! It's one of my long-term goals, though
it's also a bit intimidating. I've enjoyed studying some of the harder languages -
Ancient Greek, Arabic, Turkish - but I've never come close to being able to read books
in any of them.    

How much time and effort did it take you all to be able to read basic Russian texts?
2 persons have voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3061 days ago

3325 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 32 of 69
17 December 2014 at 9:43pm | IP Logged 
2 years and counting of study and still unable to read basic Russian texts...


1 person has voted this message useful



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